Are you constantly overanalyzing everything? Then, you most likely have realized that this bad habit is having a big negative effect on the quality of your life. This in itself is enough reason for you to want to learn how to stop overanalyzing.
But sadly, you don’t have an “overanalyzing” switch in your head that you can just use to switch off this habit.
It is something you most likely have had for a long time so, letting go may not be so easy.
However, you can do it if you set your mind to it and if you employ the techniques which will be shared in this article.
What Does it Mean to Overanalyze – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Overanalyzing means exactly what the word implies.
It means analyzing every situation or thing down to the most minute detail.
A quick illustration will help you better understand what it means to overanalyze.
Let’s say you are at work and your partner comes into your office, looks at your tie, asks for a document, gets it, and then walks out of the office.
If you are someone that overanalyzes, you won’t just leave this encounter at face value.
You may start asking yourself why he looked at your tie.
Do I have a stain on it? Does it not match my outfit? What exactly did that look mean? Why did he look at my tie like that?
All of these questions and even more may take over your mind just because someone gave a glance at your tie.
People who overanalyze are most times never positive with their analysis.
They often have negative thoughts about the things they overanalyze.
This is what makes the habit a bad one because it makes you worry and focus on the negative and doing this can adversely affect your mental health among other things.
Why Do You Overanalyze – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Overanalyzing can be a result of several things.
The following are some of the most common ones.
Wanting to Be in Control/Intelligence
For most people, overanalyzing is something they do because they like to have everything within their control.
So, they want to take care of every tiny detail including things that are well out of their control.
People like these are often intelligent people that do not want to leave anything to chance.
The more intelligent a person is, the more inquisitive and investigative they are, and the more they try to analyze everything including events and people.
For others, their tendency to overanalyze is an offshoot of something that happened to them in the past.
If a person has a lot of bad past experiences, they may start to project them on the current happenings in their lives.
For instance, let’s say a person was bullied for being fat when they were a teenager.
It’s years later and one day during a team meeting, someone tells the person how important it is to exercise for healthy living.
Now, this person because of their past experiences may start overanalyzing this seemingly innocent comment.
They may start asking those around them for their opinions about the comment.
Later that night, they lay in bed, it’s midnight they can’t sleep, all they can think of is what the person meant by the statement.
Although no harm was intended, this person can’t stop overanalyzing it because their old wounds have been revisited.
You Tend to Worry Too Much – How to Stop Overanalyzing
You may be overanalyzing because you are a worrier.
Overanalyzing and worrying mostly go hand in hand.
When you worry too much, your brain becomes used to it.
It’s all it can do in almost every situation.
Even when the situation is not something to worry about, you still find yourself worrying and getting all worked up about it.
You Have Low Self-Esteem – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Low self-esteem makes those who have it see the world differently from how other people see it.
It makes them think so little of themselves and question every little thing they do.
If you have low self-esteem, it will be very easy to overanalyze everything.
You would think that everyone is out to make fun of you and so even irrelevant things may make you feel this way.
Signs That You’re Overanalyzing – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Even though you are here reading this article on how to stop overanalyzing, you might still be in denial about having this bad habit.
You may think you are merely a critical thinker.
Therefore, the following signs of overanalyzing will be discussed for you to be sure of whether you’re an over-analyzer or not.
You Are Always in Thought
One sure sign of over-analyzers is that they spend most of their time deep in their thought.
If you’re always so immersed in your thought that you hardly get any work done, then you most likely are an over-analyzer.
While it is good to think and plan, you shouldn’t spend too much time doing this as it would only make you less productive.
You Always Imagine the Worst Thing That Can Happen
You always try to see the end from the beginning and not in a good way.
Instead of making plans and having faith in them, you would rather think of all the things that can go wrong with the plan.
You Always Think of The Future
It is good to have futuristic plans and goals.
However, it is wrong to only think of the future while neglecting the present.
Over-analyzers constantly think of tomorrow without living in the present.
Instead of enjoying the things currently going on, they would rather spend their time worrying and thinking of what will happen later.
You Turn Every Little Thing into Something Serious
Do you find yourself taking everything seriously?
If you do, then you most likely are an over-analyzer.
Someone may crack a joke and because of how much you tend to overanalyze, you may take the joke too seriously.
You need to realize that not everything people say should be taken seriously.
You Always Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Another sign that you are overanalyzing is if you are constantly in the habit of making a mountain out of a molehill.
This means you tend to make things bigger than what they are.
Because of how you overanalyze, you most times do not know how to differentiate big issues from non-issues so you end up reacting rather irrationally to even small things and situations.
You Tend to Read Between Lines – How to Stop Overanalyzing
If you always try to look for hidden meanings in every situation, then you most likely are an over-analyzer.
You think everything means something so you try to find this hidden meaning by reading deep into the situation.
You never see things at face value; so, you keep contemplating what someone said or did.
But most times, there’s really no hidden meaning to discover.
And you are just trying to make a problem where there is none.
You Make Up Situations in Your Head – How to Stop Overanalyzing
A lot of over-analyzers tend to make up hypothetical situations because they do not think that situations in their lives are as simple as they appear.
They spend time making a situation more complex than it is by creating hypothetical situations.
If you have this habit, then you most likely are an over-analyzer.
You Make a Lot of Blind Assumptions
Because an over-analyzer is too wrapped up in their own minds, they tend to not take note of everything going on around them.
Because of this, they end up making assumptions to fill in the blanks.
These assumptions are often not based on particular facts so they are often inaccurate.
You Can’t Make Decisions Without Seeking Advice from People Around You
Over-analyzers are very indecisive.
They can’t make up their minds about anything unless they have gotten the opinion of their friends.
If you spend most of your time online, texting your friends about every single thing going on with you, then you may be an over-analyzer.
You Do Not Do Things Impulsively
Making plans is great; however, when you can’t live in the moment and do things impulsively, you may be an over-analyzer.
Over-analyzers can’t act impulsively because they spend all their time weighing a situation before they make any move.
But if you can’t act at the moment, you may lose several great opportunities.
Tips on How to Stop Overanalyzing
Overanalyzing like every other habit can be difficult to overcome.
But there are certain tips you can employ to make the whole process a lot easier.
Below are 11 tips that can help you overcome the habit of overanalyzing.
1. Become Self-Aware – How to Stop Overanalyzing
One of the first things you need to do to stop overanalyzing is to become self-aware.
This way, when you start overanalyzing, you’d be fast to notice it, and then you can stop the thought before it has the chance to take over your mind.
Become self-aware by being more attentive to your feelings and thoughts.
Becoming self-aware will not just help you notice when you start overanalyzing, it may also help you figure out the pattern of this behavior and why you do it.
Overcome the overanalyzing thoughts by asking yourself some important questions like: is there any reason to get worried? How exactly do I feel? How can I stop myself from feeling this way?
Answering these questions should help you become more rational with your thoughts.
Hopefully, doing this should also stop you from overanalyzing at that point.
2. Write Down Your Thoughts – How to Stop Overanalyzing
You can help yourself become more self-aware by writing down your thoughts.
Just like being more attentive to your thoughts and feelings, writing down your thoughts should also help you better understand your feelings.
It can also help you see whether or not the thoughts are rational.
When you write down your thoughts, it becomes visible and you can evaluate their rationality better than when they were merely in your head.
Another benefit of writing down your thoughts is that it helps you clear out your mind; you have a better chance of letting go of your overanalyzing thoughts when you write them down.
Consider writing down your thoughts in the morning.
Doing this should help you let them out and forget about them as you go about your day.
3. Do Something to Distract Yourself
For some people, all they need to do when they start overanalyzing is to distract themselves.
So, you can try this out too.
When you find yourself overanalyzing anything, find something to distract you from the thoughts.
It will help better if the distraction is something you love doing.
Not only will doing something you enjoy make you forget your worries, but it will also make you feel positive.
This positivity can influence your feelings and thoughts and make you worry less.
4. Know That Some Things Are Beyond Your Control
One of the many reasons why people tend to overanalyze is because they want to be in control of things.
But the sad truth is no matter how much you plan and strategize you can’t control everything.
There’s nothing wrong with things being beyond your control and you need to realize this.
Life is full of uncertainties; both good and bad things will happen to you.
You may not be able to control the things that happen to you, but you can control your reaction to these things.
When you constantly think about the future, you’d be doing this based on predictions and “what ifs”.
And because your thoughts are based on predictions and not facts, they do not mean anything.
Once you know this and know that some things are beyond your control, it might help you control your thoughts better.
Read this article to learn how to stop being a control freak.
5. Try Not to Assume – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Stop basing your actions, thoughts, and feelings on assumptions.
Do not spend your time thinking about things just because you had a hunch.
It may be hard to stop assuming, but you can do it.
Instead of making assumptions, try to know the facts and do things based on them.
6. Become Proactive – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Most over-analyzers are merely thinkers and not doers.
Instead of doing something, they spend their time working out the theory.
If you are like this, then it is time for you to start being practical.
Become proactive and do the things you constantly spend your time overanalyzing.
7. Avoid Perfectionism – How to Stop Overanalyzing
If you can’t get things done because you want to work out every tiny detail about it, then you most likely are guilty of perfectionism.
The truth is there is never going to be a perfect time or perfect condition to get things done.
Regardless of how much time you spend overanalyzing the situation, there will always be things you won’t have taken into consideration.
So, stop being a perfectionist.
Ignore the urge to overanalyze everything before doing it; sometimes, just do it.
8. Find Out If There’s an Underlying Condition that Makes you Overanalyze
You may have an underlying anxiety disorder if you constantly overanalyze everything.
Anxiety disorders are rather common.
And it’s possible to suffer from one of these disorders without being aware of it.
This is because these disorders show themselves in several ways and the symptoms of one person may be very different from the symptoms of another person.
So, it’s a great idea to see a professional and see if you have any underlying anxiety disorder that makes it difficult for you to stop overanalyzing.
9. Learn to Make Decisions by Yourself
Another thing that you can do to overcome your habit of overanalyzing is to become decisive.
Learn to make decisions without having to consult everyone you know.
It’ll also help to give yourself a deadline for your decision-making.
If you don’t have a deadline, then it will be a lot easier for you to procrastinate making the decision.
Spending too long to decide on something will only make you overanalyze more.
So, regardless of what happens, make sure you make your decision on or before your deadline.
It does not just stop at making decisions.
You should also be ready to stick by them come what may.
10. Try Meditating
Meditation makes it possible for you to clear your mind of irrelevant things and then focus on the things that matter.
With meditation, you can evaluate your thoughts without being biased.
It helps improve self-awareness and can help you better understand your feelings and thinking patterns.
At first, you may feel like meditating is making you feel worse rather than better.
You may feel this way because your thoughts (including those you have suppressed) will be brought out when you initially start meditating.
But with time, you’d be able to come to terms with your feelings and thoughts and it’ll help you better understand and control them.
So, if you try out any form of meditation, be determined to stick through with it even though it may be unpleasant at first.
11. Stop Dwelling on the Past – How to Stop Overanalyzing
Letting go of one’s past is easier said than done.
But if you want to stop overanalyzing, you need to stop dwelling on the past.
Everyone has bad experiences that they would like to take back if given the chance to.
But life doesn’t work that way, you can’t just undo your past.
However, you can let it go and live a better and more fulfilling life.
You need to realize that your past is your past and it can only haunt you if you allow it to.
Conclusion on How to Stop Overanalyzing
Overanalyzing is just like any bad habit; you can’t overcome it in the blink of an eye.
To stop overanalyzing, you need to be determined.
You should know that you may relapse and go back to your habit even when it seems like you have completely let it go.
So, as you try to stop overanalyzing, do not be too harsh on yourself.
Do not overanalyze your plan of stopping this habit.
Rather, keep at it even when it seems like it isn’t working and with time you will overcome it.